It’s 2018, and the state of Idaho finally has its first African American state champion coach.
As reported by the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Marsell Colbert led Genesis Prep Academy to a second-straight state Idaho Class 1A Division II state title with a 59-33 victory against Carey. The win led to a larger investigation by the Spokesman-Review, which found that Colbert wasn’t just the first African American head coach to win a state title in basketball, he was the first African American head coach to win a title in any sport … ever.
“In my entire coaching career, I have only seen two other black coaches in Idaho, period, in (former Falls Christian head boys basketball coach) Tim Mitchell and an assistant coach at Borah in Boise,” Colbert told the Spokesman-Review. “So this is really important to me. It’s important for us to have success.”
Colbert has racked up a remarkable 83-13 record in four seasons leading Genesis Prep, making the most of the players at his disposal while often knocking off much larger programs. And while Colbert takes pride in becoming the first African American coach to win a crown, that isn’t the first time he broke a glass ceiling: He was also the first African American courier in Coeur d’Alene, dating back to his first runs for FedEx in 1997.
“It’s always special to be the first to accomplish something,” Colbert told the Spokesman-Review.